Cobra Slice (2005)
The 2002-2006 Joe lines, being a more kid-friendly approach to the brand than today’s offerings, had a strong play-oriented focus. It began with the two-pack figure concept, a battle-on-a-card. Kids got two figures for the price of one, usually a Joe and a Cobra. How can you beat that? Naturally, with a kid-oriented line, action features are a given. Action Attack was the typical spring-loaded leg-kicking, arm-punching, waist-twisting gimmick that’s been part of the action figure landscape for decades. Thankfully for adult collectors of the time (there were a few of us), it didn’t last long.
Don’t confuse this guy with the Real American Hero series Slice, a part of the Ninja Force sub-set and a supposed rogue member of the Arashikage clan (go figure). This Cobra Slice had a background in secret police forces and even professional wrestling. He’s less surgical scalpel and more blunt instrument.
The figure was one of the fortunate figures in the 2000’s line whose initial Action Attack version was retooled into the more familiar Joe construction. The armored appearance certainly reinforces his reputation as a bruiser; this isn’t your usual ninja pajama outfit. Actually, it seems to have more of a samurai style than ninja. I have to say, for all his armor, he went a little too far with the accessorizing in the head area. I don’t care what clan you’re from, that sash has got to be a real liability to one’s melon in battle.